An Intensive Treatment and Behavior Modification Program for Youth

Transforming Care and Restoring Freedom for Troubled Young Adults

Executive Summary

A Department of Juvenile Justice Facility sought solutions to proactively manage disruptive youth in restrictive housing. This Justice Facility collaborated with Falcon experts to develop and implement a treatment-intensive, evidence-based program that integrated concepts of positive behavior interventions. The program was designed for rigorous treatment of violent, maladaptive, and disruptive behavior. The goal of the program was to effectively and proactively manage youth who displayed consistently disruptive behaviors that became difficult to manage in a regular housing unit.

This program was structured using a multidisciplinary team and evidence-based treatment approach that included Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT), Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and concepts of Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) models. Data showed about 20% of youth in the facility accounted for 80% of disruptive behaviors. These youth refused to comply with rules and conventional interventions, creating an environment that distracted from rehabilitation of other youth in school, groups, and shared living environments.

The program served as a short-term residential treatment-like setting within the confines of the facility that offered wider ranges of placement options to address consistently aggressive and disruptive behaviors of targeted youth. Targeting youth to receive intensive behavioral interventions and cognitive restructuring in a safe and secure environment promoted a more positive climate within the facility and reduced the need for temporary confinement.

The Falcon Approach To A Youth Behavior Modification Program

A multidisciplinary team approach was used with a Unit Team consisting of Educators, Mental Health Professionals, Juvenile Justice Specialists, Juvenile Justice Youth and Family Specialists. Other departmental staff also played key roles in the implementation and sustainability of this program. In structuring the program and roles of each department, the team:

  • Selected and designated an appropriate unit with the assistance of Falcon experts.
  • Used full-time teachers to provide education on the unit.
  • Chose a select group of security staff based on its commitment to the goals of the program, ability to communicate and work with program staff, and to utilize a firm, fair and consistent approach when engaging with youth. Security staff was assigned consistently to this program on all shifts and all times.
  • Provided behavioral health services on the unit.
  • Assigned Youth and Family Specialists to the unit who made contact with youth throughout the work week.
  • Obtained approvals from members of the Facility Programs Team for all program assignments for all youth.
  • Set up a data collection system to maintain the integrity of the program, and tracked program success, including: number of youth in the program, length of time in the program, Youth Behavior File, Youth Disciplinary Reports before and after program completion, and return to the program.
  • Regularly assessed the efficacy of the program and reported to Facility Administration.
To view team integration, work relationship, selection criteria, program procedures, program completion criteria, behavioral level system and work plan, please download the complete document.